Denzel Washington Directs and Stars in the big screen adaptation of the play by August Wilson. A Garbage Man in the 1950’s struggles with his demons while being a Father, Husband, and Brother. The events of his life up to this point has formed a stubborn survivor who is loved by his Wife, feared by his children, and his best Friend Bono sticks by him.
The reviewing life is a strange one, love a film and you’ll have the cast and crew thinking you’re a good guy, but if someone disagrees with you then you’ll have a backlash through the internet’s. If you dislike a film then you have everyone backlash against you, but your readers will appreciate your honesty to stand away from the crowd. The cost of going to the cinema these days, and I’m basing this on the Irish cost of going to the cinema, is outrageous. It’s important that many different views on the same movie are out there to inform those spending their hard-earned cash on the probable one night a week they get to their local cinema. Rarely comes a time when a movie is flawless to me, I cannot find one bad thing to say about this film, even though during the start of the film I thought a huge sin was committed.
The sin in question was the under use of Viola Davis as Rose, at the start of the film you think she’s just there to be that steady rock for Denzel (as Troy) to act against. This is not the case as the more the film develops the more Rose comes into her own. Each performance is measured and wonderful. You can say that this is Denzel’s vehicle, I could see that point, but it’s only after walking out of the cinema that you see the brilliance of every performance.
The story of a man coming to terms with his life, the dreams that will now forever just be dreams, and how he is trying to make sense of his life while raising his family, getting ahead in the garbage business, and failing at being the husband that Rose deserves may not be for everyone but that is just a disguise. This film is for everyone as there are characters who you know from your own life or family there. Rose who is the steadfast homemaker, loving, caring, strong, someone who everyone respects and has nothing but love for the world around them. Troy the bitter middle-aged man, the life choices he made or had made for him, left him against the thought of dreams in general for his boys. The Son from a previous relationship who is in love with music but always looking for cash to keep him going. The Son of Rose and Troy who has the talent to go to college playing Football, not real football, the American kind, but Troy would prefer that this boy keep his feet on the ground and get a trade.
The feeling of the play in which this was adapted from is there on the screen, but Washington the Director manages to make it work. When Troy has a startling admission to make to Rose you get the gravy on the best meal you’re going to have in the drama field this year. This is where Viola Davis shows that she’s not a supporting player, as the Academy would have you believe, she’s the powerhouse performer that we all know she can be. She acts Denzel off the screen in one charged moment that changes all their lives. Every performer on this project is perfectly placed and their should be a cast Award during these award seasons, Fences would win it.
The two hours twenty minutes running time felt like just moment as I was carried into the story and instantly loving Troy, Rose, Bono, and the rest of the cast. Then turning on a dime you see that Troy is far from likeable, but somewhat understandable, maybe I’m just a little twisted but even when I hated Troy I could see his point. That is a remarkable thing, and this is a remarkable movie.
Director: Denzel Washington
Writers: August Wilson (screenplay), August Wilson (based upon his play “Fences”)
Stars: Denzel Washington, Viola Davis, Stephen Henderson